There is no fast version of a meaningful life
I was speaking to Emma yesterday about the Think Beyond conference. She was interested in attending so she had a couple of questions. During our conversation, Emma asked me a very interesting question; “Can I have the fast version” of the conference because we all have hectic lifestyles and we don’t have time. I decided to make myself a cold iced Americano and think about it. I replied to her and said that there is no fast version to the conference because we will have six speakers and 10 speeches on different topics.
I get it. I understand that we all have a hectic lifestyle – work, family, home, activities and so on. But the question I asked myself is: when did we get so busy that we forgot to live our life and invest time in ourselves? Our friends, family and colleagues always want something from us; and we want things from them. Let’s pause for a minute and think about our life; Wake up, go to work, go to the gym, go home, go out, eat, sleep. Then do it all over again for the next 60 years. Every month, wait for the next event; the Christmas holidays, birthdays, holidays, weekends, Fridays…
I put on a bit of weight in over the past 3 months and I have a small belly. Can you imagine me going to the gym tomorrow and saying to my trainer that I need a quick fix to my problem; I want to lose 5kg in 3 sessions… He would laugh and tell me to get out of the gym. Another example; I want to learn to become a better writer and speaker so I hire a coach and tell him that I want to learn everything that he can teach me in 3 hours rather 8 hours. It’s laughable really. Yet we all do it to some degree in different areas of our lives.
The reason we do it is because we live in a fast moving world; fast burgers, fast cars, fast internet, fast sex, fast coffee, fast dates. Today, we live in a world where if you want a date you just swipe right and the next day you go to a fast date, to drink a fast coffee to have a fast conversation that will lead you to fast sex and then realize that fast doesn’t create meaningful relationships. The media and society are promoting that everything is fast; success is fast, overnight success is done within 24 hours and other bullshit stories.
I love the story that Louis CK shared in his interview. He shared his first-time experience with Wi-Fi on an airplane. Here are his words; “We live in an amazing world and now it’s wasted on the crappiest generation of spoiled idiots that don’t care.” He goes and tells the story about how the flight attendant announced that for the first time everybody can use the Wi-Fi and he was amazed because you were flying in the sky, sitting on a chair and watching YouTube videos. At some point, the internet stopped working and the flight attendant apologized. The guy next to him complained and said: “ohh shit, this is crap”. How can he complain about the internet on the plane when he didn’t know it existed 10 seconds ago? We take things for granted and don’t appreciate the fact we didn’t have a lot of luxuries that we have today.
I believe that meaningful things in life take time, a lot of time. I believe that we need to take a step back and start living in the moment. I used to live in the future, run around like crazy, waiting for my next meeting, next account, next payment and I used to live in the past; my previous life events and failures kept me from living today, I lost myself. I didn’t live life in the moment because there was always an email from a client to design a new artwork, there was always another phone call from a client to arrange a meeting, there was always a brief for a new campaign. What about today? What about living life today and making every minute count? What about ourselves? Reading a nice printed book, attending a conference and making new friendships. Investing in ourselves is the best strategy because nobody else will.
The truth is there are no shortcuts to authenticity, meaning, passion and finding ourselves. It took me 30 years to understand certain things. I read books, listened to podcasts, attended conferences, met people, drove to new cities, flew to new countries to discover certain things about myself.
Even if Emma attends the Think Beyond conference for 8 hours it doesn’t mean that it stops there. There are action steps to be taken. For example, in one of my speeches, I will share things that I did every single day to overcome certain insecurities. So even after the conference, it’s hard work; we will be required to work on ourselves every single day. At the conference, we learn ideas and strategies that all the speakers will share, but if we don’t implement them instantly then the conference will be a waste of time and money; it’s better not to attend and leave your seat for somebody who wants to create a meaningful life and that wants to go beyond. Nothing in life happens without hard work.
There is no fast version to a purposeful life; it’s a long journey that never stops. So please, take a step back and invest in yourself, live in the moment and appreciate everything you have in life.